The 2020 election is over. And though the lawsuits and political commentary will continue for months to come, the Herald is ready to bid adieu to election season.

There are many opinions to be had over the election, most of which we will keep to ourselves. But there is one victory we can all celebrate — historic levels of voter participation.

As of Nov. 10, almost 150 million votes had been counted in this year’s presidential election, the majority of which were cast early and/or by mail. That’s the most citizens to ever vote in a United States election and the highest turnout rate relative to population since 1908 when William Howard Taft defeated William Jennings Bryan.

In Lake County, 3,987 people voted in the 2020 election, about 83% of all registered voters in the county. From county commissioners to state representative to president, Democrats swept the local ticket.

Colorado processed over three million ballots for the first time in the state’s history. This is due to the state’s growing population, as well as high voter turnout. About 84% of Colorado’s eligible voting-age population voted this year, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, placing Colorado in the top five states in the country for voter participation.

More unaffiliated voters in Colorado participated in this year’s election than registered Democrats or Republicans. Many of these unaffiliated voters supported Democratic candidates, helping propel John Hickenlooper to the U.S. Senate and Joe Biden to the White House.

The fact that many Colorado voters do not vote by party affiliation was also reflected in the outcome of the state’s 11 ballot measures this year. The measures showed that Coloradans can often be socially liberal but fiscally conservative.

For example, voters rejected a ban on abortions after 22 weeks gestation by a 17% margin. But voters supported Proposition 116, a measure that will reduce the state income tax, by 15%.

And though votes are still being counted across the nation, it is clear that more age-eligible citizens chose to vote than to not vote.

According to exit polls, the majority of white voters, the largest racial group in the U.S. electorate, supported Donald Trump for president. The majority of Black, Latinx and Indigenous voters supported Biden.

Young people turned out to vote at a substantially higher rate than in 2016. Early looks at voter data suggest a 7-10% increase in youth voter turnout from 2016 to 2020. And according to a New York Times study of exit polls, about 62% of young voters ages 18-29 supported Biden for president.

Lastly, in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, women voted at a higher rate than men, as they have done in every presidential election since 1984.

Rachel Woolworth

Herald Editor

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